In a mentally exhausting year dominated by the world’s health pandemic, it’s safe to say it has taken a toll on everyone in different ways. From isolation in homes to social events and places shutting down, staying on top of your mental health has been no easy task in 2020. Now with the holidays approaching, it can be even tougher to keep stability and a positive mood as you navigate factors like colder weather, financial pressures, and even more effects of the COVID crisis.
To prepare yourself ahead of time, it’s important to be proactive. Here are some ways to start preparing yourself for the busiest time of the year.
Taking Care of Mental and Overall Health During the Holidays
Take time for yourself
The holidays, in particular Thanksgiving and Christmas, can be easy to lose focus on your own well-being. When celebrating with friends and family, organizing parties, and participating in gift-giving, it is easy to exert your focus on other people to help them enjoy the time of year. However, as important as this is, it’s equally important to take time for yourself and improve your mood.
One easy way is perfecting your self-care routine by making time for some of your favorite activities that provide you that dose of serotonin you deserve. Many people find it harder to feel self-fulfillment during these times so think critically about what makes you feel good, and separate time to actually do these things. For example, if catching up on your skincare routine or even taking time each night to watch your favorite TV show is something that eases your mind, prioritize this as you make your daily schedule.
Check out this list to get you inspired.
Maintain your body health
Few people actually know and realize that your overall body health impacts your mental health too. Mental and physical health work hand-in-hand so taking care of one will in turn benefit the other. It’s no secret either that this gets tougher towards the end of the month. Between the yummy food of Thanksgiving and Christmas or the ease to neglect exercising, finding that motivation can be tough. Here are some physical health solutions to be mindful of to improve your mental strength.
- Think about what foods you’re eating. Natural foods like fruits and vegetables can be easy mood boosters since they’re full of tons of vitamins and minerals. This may mean laying off sweets for the time being and shifting your focus to something that will be better for your digestive system.
- Be prepared for possible sickness. Flu season is approaching and getting sick is never something someone wants to go through mentally, especially during a pandemic. With that said, be sure to be prepared. Try out over-the-counter delivery technology that can make stocking up your medicine cabinet as easy as a click of buttons. Services like these are seemingly effortless ways to save time and mental capacity to do things you actually enjoy.
- Last but not least, physical exercise is a huge key to maintaining a sense of stability, especially during the holidays. Because of all the endorphins, calories burned, and hormones involved with getting your sweat on, it can really help take your mind off holiday stress. Find a physical activity that works for you and implement it into your daily life.
Be social with others
It might sound silly that recommending to be social during the holidays is something so obvious, but it can be tough for many people to reach out to others, especially when holiday stress is piling up. It’s important to remember that the holiday season should be about love, friends, and family, and even during quarantine periods, there are still ways to connect with the ones you love, even if it’s virtual.
Some great ideas are setting up Zoom calls with old friends, going shopping together, or even sending each other a simple text message to know that you’re thinking about them. Whether or not you’re the one looking to stabilize your mental health or you know of someone that is struggling, this works both ways in terms of being there for each other. You never know what people are going through so be available to give and receive love this holiday season.
Spread joy and help others
Finally, it’s important to keep in mind the true essence of the holiday season and that is joy and helping out others. For many people, the feeling of helping others is what soothes their chakras and helps them decompress. If you find yourself to be this kind of person, the holidays can be the perfect way to take place in something like this. For example, volunteering your time to local organizations can boost your mental health and helping out someone in need.
Being selfless is a huge element of stress relief during the holidays and adopting the “pay it forward” attitude can help you take you temporarily out of your sphere and someone else’s shoes with a different perspective. Do your best to help others because it can help yourself out too.
As the holidays begin to quickly approach, try and keep these concepts in mind as you maneuver the inevitable stress that will come. Be sure to stay focused, positive, and proactive.